Hi there, teacher friends!
A few awesome secondary bloggers have gathered together to bring you some laughs, fun ideas, and creative ways to maneuver through this crazy holiday season. Be sure to check out everyone else's posts when you finish with this one! Oh...and we are also raffling off a pretty sweet prize you should check out as well!
Last year, our school became one of three schools in the entire state of Illinois to be approved for a pilot run of what's called an "E-Learning Day". This new system gives superintendents the option to call school an "e-learning day" instead of a snow day: no days are added to the end of the school year, no one goes to school, but teachers and students are expected to host class that day ONLINE! Basically, kids need to check in via Google Classroom for attendance and complete an assignment for each of his or her classes.
As I'm sure you can imagine, it had some people cheering and others writhing in apocalyptic fear and panic. Wanna know what's funny? After all the cheering AND the panic, Chicago didn't have a cold enough or snowy enough day to even pilot our first "e-learning day" anyway!
But, as the seasons do, another winter has rolled around and we are already talking about getting ready for the snow. I wonder, are you too? Has your school tried something like this?
Whether you have or haven't, I wanted to share some fun e-learning day type lessons that can work in any 1:1 classroom. These lessons are fun, quick check-ins to make sure that students are fulfilling their classroom requirements for the day, but also have time to go sledding (do teenagers still do that?) and curl up on the couch with some hot cocoa.
1. Summary and a Selfie
No matter when a snow day or e-learning day may fall, it's almost a guarantee that we will be in the beginning, middle, or finishing a novel together or independently in class. So, the quickest and most efficient assignment we give kids is to post on Google Classroom (or Padlet) a summary of the assigned reading and a selfie with their books. These are always so much fun to see! Sometimes I even throw in a photo contest with different prizes: best book selfie in the snow, best selfie with the book in a warm place, etc. Have fun with this!
2. Let's Recap...
You may have seen their ads on Facebook (that's where I discovered this awesome tool!), but if you haven't yet tried Recap, it's time to get on that! Recap is a website where students are placed in a virtual classroom (just like pretty much every other education website/program out there) and then you, the teacher, can push out questions to the students. Their job? To respond. What's different here, though, is that their response will be video taped and recorded and immediately sent back to you. Students will need Chromebooks or another webcam enabled device, and if you have access to this tech, Recap will be both a time saver and a hysterical change of pace of you and your students. Ask your students to do their best character voice impressions, to dress up like a character, to show you a drawing they made of the Hollywood celebrity they would choose to play Romeo...you name it, they record it and it gets sent right back to you! Videos can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as 60 second
There you have it, folks! Two quick, easy, and fun lessons that not only qualify for e-learning, but can also keep kids moving forward with technology and in touch with you no matter how many inches of snow are on the ground!